First, a bit of shameless bragging. After a few IQ tests and knowledge inventories recommended by her teacher last year, Matilda made it into Alpha, colloquially known as the "gifted" program. Whether this is a good thing or bad depends on whom you ask. Personally I think it's pretty cool to have a kid who can out-logic and out-analogy both her parents with several brain synapses tied behind her back.
So one day a week, they pull the Alpha kids out of regular classes and bus them off to the middle school where their delicate little brains will be nurtured and cultivated in a plan to take over the world.
They're being indoctrinated into the secret nerd society. Cool.
So last night they asked all the Alpha parents and their little Alphas were asked to sit in on an Alpha orientation for the coming school year. Matilda and I went, feeling very Gilmore Girls.
I'm not sure what I was expecting. Executive blonde mothers in suits with blonde, perfectly groomed and nannied children? At-home mothers waving flashcards and living vicariously through their bright-eyed little Baby Einsteins? Not really. Lots of normal-seeming people who, like me, were just trying to figure out which forms to fill out and give to which teacher.
We slid into hard plastic seats near the back of the middle school cafeteria and watched the Alphas file in. I discretely pulled out my knitting so as to avoid having to interact.
Matilda was horrified. "Mom!" she said. "You're not going to knit during this, are you?"
"No!" I lied. "Just until they start talking."
When they started talking and I was still knitting, Matilda gave me many dirty looks.
Welcome, etc., said the program director. And then he smiled broadly and said something about these kids being the future and having the potential to change the world.
I kicked Matilda. "That's you!" I hissed.
"Shut up," she pleaded.
The teachers came to the podium one by one and explained different things about the program. One of them described how hard the kids work and all the wonderful things they accomplish throughout the year.
I leaned over and whispered, "Sounds like a lot of work. Should we bail?"
She ignored me. I poked her.
She glared at me.
"You smart kids are no fun," I said.